Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy met with the media this morning ahead of tonight’s pivotal Game 3 matchup against the Tampa Lightning at TD Garden in Boston. The Bruins, of course, split the opening two games of the series in Tampa, but now have home ice advantage on their side for the next two games.
The Bruins were clearly frustrated with the level of officiating in Game 2 and, quite frankly, they have every right to be.
In the words of NBC analyst and former NHL superstar Jeremy Roenick, the referees missed calls were “unacceptable”, and “too inconsistent”, Roenick then carved the officials saying, that they have “got to be better, and if they don’t there’s going to be a lot of complaining and not just on the ice.”
This non-call on Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman for slashing Bruins forward Brad Marchand was particularly egregious:
I mean… COME ON!
Regardless, the series is tied up 1-1 and the Bruins have an opportunity to take the lead tonight on home ice. In discussing his team’s strategy for the series’ most pivotal game, Cassidy confirmed that he’ll make at least one change to the Bruins lineup tonight. Fourth line winger Tim Schaller, with just two assists in nine playoff games, will sub out in favor of veteran Tommy Wingels.
Bruce Cassidy confirms that Tommy Wingels will sub in for Tim Schaller tonight. #NHLBruins
The 30 year old Wingels was an absolute thorn in the side of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ top players in the Bruins’ first round series and it appears as if Cassidy is hoping for more of the same against the Lightning.
While Schaller hasn’t been bad this postseason, Wingels does bring a little more grit to the team’s lineup with his “crash and bang” style. At the very least, you know he’ll get a few licks in on the forecheck and stir the hometown Boston crowd into a frenzy. Bruins fans love hard hockey and they demand that their players bring a high energy level on home ice. If nothing else, you can count on Wingels to provide the team with a spark.